J.F. Lehman to acquire Global Marine Group

Written by Nick Blenkey
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Private equity firm J.F. Lehman & Company (JFLCO) reports that an investment affiliate has signed a definitive agreement to acquire Chelmsford, U.K., headquartered Global Marine Group.

Separately, Global Marine Group’s majority owner, HC2 Holdings, Inc. (NYSE: HCHC), said that the total base consideration for 100% of GMG (excluding its share in a joint-venture that is the subject an earlier sales agreement) will be approximately $250 million in cash, subject to customary closing adjustments, plus a potential future earn-out should JFLCO and its investment affiliates achieve a specified multiple of their invested capital.

With a legacy dating to 1850, Global Marine Group is a leading provider of subsea cable maintenance and installation services to the telecommunications, offshore wind and utility markets worldwide. GMG owns and operates a highly specialized fleet of marine equipment and vessels, including three cable installation and repair vessels, four cable maintenance vessels and 19 crew transfer vessels, operated by subsidiary C Wind.

“Global Marine Group has been a market leading provider of critical marine services for decades and is an exciting addition to the JFLCO portfolio of companies,” said Alex Harman, a Partner with JFLCO. “The Company’s strong market positions, comprehensive suite of unique services and assets, and talented workforce align well with our investment strategy.” Will Hanenberg, a Principal at JFLCO added, “We believe the Company has significant opportunities for growth in its core telecommunications and offshore wind markets, and we look forward to supporting the Global Marine Group team as it executes its exciting vision for the future.”

Dick Fagerstal, Chairman of Global Marine Group commented, “I believe JFLCO is an excellent partner for GMG to help facilitate the next phase of our growth. Together with Ian Douglas, CEO of GMG, and the rest of the Global Marine Group management team, we look forward to leveraging JFLCO’s extensive maritime experience and considerable capital base in further developing GMG’s core business in the telecommunication and offshore wind markets.”

The agreement, which is subject to customary closing conditions, is expected to close in the first quarter of 2020.

Debt financing for the transaction was provided by Deutsche Bank. Winchester Capital served as financial advisor to JFLCO and Jones Day (lead counsel) and Blank Rome (maritime) provided legal advice. Deutsche Bank and ABN AMRO served as financial advisor to Global Marine Group and Hogan Lovells provided legal counsel.

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